Today I got a wonderful package from VariaTEA in the post! So my cupboard has suffered a mini explosion and VariaTEA is entirely responsible.. hehe. I was so close to getting under 400, too! I wanted to play with my new teas sooner but I was out most of the day and then when I got back I made sure I drank a couple of Butiki teas to stay on track with my drink-a-thon. I’m in work early tomorrow so it’s almost bed time for me. I have time for one more cup of tea and I’m having this because it sounded yummy and relaxing and it was a teabag and I’m too tired to sort out anything loose leaf at the moment.

The scent while it’s brewing is a lot like most chocolate teas to me; chocolatey but artificial. I pick up some nuttiness from the hazelnut in the scent but no toffee. The flavour is pretty much the same as the scent initially – artificial chocolate with hazelnut background and no toffee anywhere to be found. It tastes quite a lot like a knock-off ferrero rocher! The base tea is present enough that I can tell it’s there, but for a supermarket teabag I’m pretty impressed because it’s really smooth with no astringency at all. I added the tiniest bit of sugar and the tiniest bit of milk and this brings out the hazelnut a lot more, and makes it actually quite a nice comforting bed time cup of tea. As it starts to cool a little the chocolate becomes far less pronounced and the main flavour is hazelnut, with a hint of the toffee finally peeping through at the end of the sip. Now it reminds me quite strongly of Adagio’s Hazelnut tea, only with a much milder base and a more artificial hazelnut flavour. It’s nice, but not so different that I could justify having them both in my collection and Adagio’s plain hazelnut tea has the edge over this one with it being stronger and more natural-tasting. Thank you again VariaTEA for sending me so many generous samples!

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 7 OZ / 207 ML

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I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years.

Black teas make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 22 year old English Literature sort-of-graduate and temporary bartender. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching (self-diagnosed geek and Netflix addict), football/soccer (I am a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC) and listening to classic rock.

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.

I also tend to ramble on a bit.


South Shields, UK

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